The Untethered Soul — by Michael A. Singer

Title: The Untethered Soul
Author: Michael A. Singer
Year: 2007
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications

Review

“Do not let anything that happens in life be important enough that you’re willing to close your heart over it.” 

Prior to reading and learning about Michael Singer, I did not know who he was but now I am in love with his book “The Untethered Soul”, the ideas he presents to us, and the way these ideas are expressed is succinct, absorbing and refreshing all at once.

Singer shares his wisdom and experiences with stories and metaphors that will make us think and work our brains from a spiritual perspective. This will make us see our emotions and actions from a different, better point of view but always keeping your feet on the ground, giving you easy and practical examples of daily situations. 

In this book review article I’m going to talk about three key points which can help us change and develop our mindset and be grateful and in peace with ourselves.

The Roommate

Imagine that you move into an apartment you share with another person. At the beginning everything is fine but then it turns into a living hell, your roommate does not clean much, it smells horrible, and he’s always complaining and you cannot sleep because of the endless chatter. What would you do? 

You can try talking with that person or you can just move out… but, what if I tell you that person will be your roommate for life? That ‘person’ is your inner voice, the one who is always talking in your head, commenting on everything, good, bad and ugly. 

Now, Singer says that we are not that voice, we are not our feelings; we are the one who hears it, we are the one who feels, and that is an important point of clarification. He explains we are divided into: you, your awareness, and the other part is that inner dialogue that never stops talking. Is it your friend or enemy?

In conclusion: your mind can be a beautiful place or a living hell. We must learn how to deal with our “inner roommate” and create a positive environment(al). 

The Thorn

There was a girl, walking around the forest, and a thorn got stuck in her arm, the girl was in pain, and she had two options. One was to confront the pain and take the thorn out from her arm and the other option, the one she took, was to build a life to avoid the pain. She would not use that arm, she would sleep on her other side, she built a life where avoiding that pain was her main purpose. 

Would you believe me if I tell you we’ve all been in her position? In life we have two paths; one is taking a good look at ourselves and confronting our fears, and the other path is to just avoid them and bury them deep inside ourselves. 

In order to live free and be our true selves we must heal those thorns. And, trust me on this, we all have thorns, every single one of us! The only difference is that some people face the truth, the reality, and other people live a life of self delusion hiding from the world or sticking their head in the sand ostrich like.

The Buddha and the Gift

One day a Buddha was walking through a village. An incredibly angry and rude young man came up to him and began insulting the Buddha. Buddha was not upset by these insults. He just smiled. The young man kept insulting him, but the Buddha just smiled. 

The disciples were feeling angry and one of them could not resist and asked the Buddha: “Why didn’t you reply to the rude man?” The Buddha replied: “if someone offers you a gift, and you refuse to accept it, to whom does the gift belong?” “Of course, to the person who brought the gift,” replied the disciple. “That is correct,” smiled the Buddha. 

In other words: you cannot control what happens outside, hate, betrayal, envy etc exists and will hit every single one of us, and we cannot do anything to stop, nor avoid it. But what we can do is control our reaction to it, control our inner world. We can choose if we want to “accept or refuse that gift” and, as an addition to this idea, we can also choose which one to gift and give to other people. 

Summary

Michael teaches us how to be ourselves, how not to fall into the trap of social expectations and heal our past. He talks about living in “high vibrations” and this only happens when we choose love instead of hate, forgiveness instead of resentment and how and why we must follow the beauty, and the bliss of the divine.

His ideas are not new, but his ways of explaining them in “The Untethered Soul” are different. For example, the thorn and the two paths in life are references to psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s ‘Shadow’ concept and the Self. The first one talks about facing challenges, the painful truth, and our dark side, accepting it as part of ourselves, and the second one is everything that makes us who we really are. 

Singer talks about finding out what we really want and pursuing a life full of purpose, an idea highlighted by Viktor Frankl, which is not as simple as it sounds.  

When someone asks us this question, we think about the superficial aspect, we say we want a big house, we say we want a wife / husband, we want this and that. But what we really want is the inner feeling, a sense of total wellbeing; we want to feel loved, we want to feel fulfilled in life, we want to feel we are working towards a worthwhile goal.

In “The Untethered Soul” we learn that the only way to do this is by working on ourselves, healing from our past, following the real light, not the artificial one, being a giver, not a taker, and not being “closed”, but having an open mind and heart. 

Favourite Quotes

  • There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it.”
  • If you truly love someone, your love sees past their humanness.”
  • When a problem is disturbing you, don’t ask, “What should I do about it?” Ask, “What part of me is being disturbed by this?”
  • The truth is that most of life will unfold in accordance with forces far outside your control, regardless of what your mind says about it.”
  • There is no reason to constantly attempt to figure everything out.”

Have you read “The Untethered Soul”? If not, certainly consider getting your copy from Amazon! Please share your impressions about the review in the comments below, and join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter, & Instagram

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